Despite JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM) CEO Jamie Dimon repeatedly slamming Bitcoin (BTC) as “a hyped-up fraud” and “pet rock,” as well as comparing the largest cryptocurrency to a Ponzi scheme, the American banking giant continues to advance in the cryptocurrency sector.
Specifically, JPMorgan’s decentralized finance (DeFi) branch Onyx is opening an Innovation Lab in Athens, Greece, “with initial focus on building blockchain-related capabilities,” the platform’s Head of Blockchain Launch and Onyx Digital Assets, Tyrone Lobban, said in a LinkedIn post on February 13.
Athens team’s responsibilities
As Lobban explained, the lab’s launch is part of the company’s efforts towards expanding the concept of digital identity, which it considers essential for the further advancement of its Web3 services:
“The Athens team will form part of Onyx Blockchain Launch and will be core to the exploration and build-out of Digital Identity solutions, extending the capabilities we have piloted over the past few years. We believe that Digital Identity is key to unlocking scale for web3 and can enable entirely new interactions and services for web2 and web3 alike.”
To this end, Lobban urged talented engineers who “want to work at the cutting edge of blockchain, identity & web3 in Athens,” to apply for the platform’s new positions in Greece, which include full-stack software engineers, a mobile app engineer, and Onyx Launch technical manager.
JPMorgan’s expansion into crypto
It is also important to note that, in November, JPMorgan registered a trademark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for ‘J.P. MORGAN WALLET,’ seeking to offer a crypto wallet for digital currency exchange and transfer, which the USPTO later granted.
Furthermore, JPMorgan’s subsidiary Chase Bank allows its U.S. account holders to acquire crypto through a regulated broker or exchange, as long as it’s registered with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) and allowed to sell digital assets like Bitcoin and Ethereum (ETH).
The increased crypto-related efforts seem to be a response to the increased public interest in cryptocurrencies, which the company recognized by analyzing its clients’ activities, arriving at the conclusion that nearly 13% of all households had moved money into or out of a crypto account at least once as of June 2022.